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Zero-Click Exploit in iPhones – Schneier on Security

Zero-Click Exploit in iPhones: Update Your iPhones

Recently, a zero-click exploit in iPhones has been discovered, highlighting the importance of keeping your devices updated. Citizen Lab, a leading digital rights advocacy group, has reported that two zero-day vulnerabilities, now fixed by Apple, were actively exploited to deploy the Pegasus commercial spyware onto fully patched iPhones. The exploit chain, dubbed BLASTPASS, targeted iPhones running the latest version of iOS (16.6) without any interaction from the victim. The attackers used PassKit attachments containing malicious images sent via an attacker iMessage account to infect a fully-patched iPhone belonging to a Washington DC-based civil society organization.

The two vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2023-41064 and CVE-2023-41061, allowed the attackers to compromise iPhones running the latest version of iOS. This means that even devices with the most up-to-date software were vulnerable to this zero-click exploit. The exploit involved PassKit attachments containing malicious images, which were sent to the victim’s device from an attacker iMessage account. Once the attachments were opened, the malicious payload was executed, allowing the attackers to deploy the Pegasus spyware.

This discovery emphasizes the critical need for iPhone users to promptly update their devices whenever new security patches are released. By regularly updating your iPhone, you can ensure that any known vulnerabilities are patched and protect yourself from potential zero-click exploits. It is also crucial to exercise caution when opening attachments or clicking on links, even from trusted sources. Attackers are constantly evolving their techniques, and it is essential to stay vigilant and prioritize device security.

In conclusion, the zero-click exploit in iPhones serves as a reminder of the ever-present threat of cyberattacks and the importance of staying updated with the latest security patches. Apple has acted swiftly to fix the vulnerabilities, but it is the responsibility of iPhone users to ensure they are running the most recent software version. By taking proactive measures to protect your device, you can safeguard your personal information and mitigate the risk of falling victim to similar zero-click exploits in the future.

Key Points:
1. Two zero-day vulnerabilities in iPhones were actively exploited to deploy the Pegasus spyware.
2. The exploit chain, known as BLASTPASS, targeted fully patched iPhones running iOS 16.6.
3. PassKit attachments containing malicious images were used to infect the devices without any user interaction.
4. Promptly updating iPhones and exercising caution with attachments and links are crucial for device security.
5. Staying informed about the latest security threats and taking proactive measures is essential in the fight against cyberattacks.

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